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News | July 17, 2022

Ireland earns first CISM victory in 1-0 defeat of Belgium

By Joe Lacdan, Armed Forces Sports U.S. Armed Forces Sports

Irish center back Siobhan O’Sullivan scored a late second half goal to lead Ireland to its first CISM win, 1-0 over Belgium in the 2022 World Military Women’s Football Championship on July 17.

Both Ireland and Belgium did not have the easiest path to the CISM games.

Belgium, due to flight delays had to sleep in the Denver International Airport prior to arriving in the Spokane area during a 60-hour commute.

Ireland (1-2) had to endure the loss of their top goal scorer, who learned she suffered an ACL tear upon arriving in the U.S.

And Belgium (0-3) suffered a double digit defeat against the U.S. Armed Forces team, 10-0, while the Irish women dropped a 12-0 decision to Cameroon, the widest margin of defeat for any team.

Still both squads remained in high spirits heading into their CISM matchup on July 17 at Spokane’s Union stadium looking for their first CISM victory.

Both squads played to a nil-nil draw in the first half. The Irish women had several scoring chances including on a corner kick in the 36th minute. Katherine Meany, an infantry Soldier in the Irish Defence Force, passed to Siobhan O’Sullivan, a cavalry senior officer, who missed a header wide left.

The Irish women had corner kicks in the 45th and 53rd minute that failed to generate shots on goal, in part because of solid defense led by Belgium keeper Jolien Billens.

Finally in the 77th minute, Meaney booted a pass to Sullivan who found the back of the net for the first Irish goal in the tournament.

Ireland scheduled to complete pool play vs. the United States on July 19 while Belgium matched up with Cameroon.